Ugandan Jackson Kiprop emerged 2015 Spain Ribarroja Half Marathon champion on Saturday in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 12 seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga.

Kiprop crossed the finish line 24 seconds before the Ethiopian who was followed by Eritrea’s Tadesse Kidane in third position with 1 hour, 4 minutes and 10 seconds.

The 29-year-old came close to breaking his personal best of 1:02:05 off severe illness that had him admitted and bed-ridden at in Ward 6B at Mulago Hospital in January last year.

Kiprop was unconscious, battling for his life at Mulago National Referral Hospital and was diagnosed with serious Kidney failure. He was driven to mulago by friend and teammate Stephen Kiprotich after suffering complications in breathing while training then.

He could neither talk nor respond to any sign language but later recovered after special attention from his wife Irene and the doctors who suspected that Kiprop had taken a herb that could be the source of his condition.

Known for helping Stephen Kiprotich clinch 2013’s World Championships marathon gold in Moscow, the athlete is eventually back on his feet and winning.

His half marathon triumph in Spain on Saturday added much to his previous achievements of winning the 2013 Mumbai Standard Chartered Marathon despite entering as a pacesetter.

He set a course record then of 2:09:32, his personal best in full marathon to claim the $50,000 winner’s prize.

In August the same year, Kiprop broke the opposition down by pacing through mid-race, before teammate Kiprotich came through to win the IAAF Moscow Marathon in 2:09:51 with ease.

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports. He is an aspiring Sport Psychologist.

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